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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Flag Football

Roger Goodell has a very big problem. Football is a contact sport, in case any of you did not notice. I just reviewed the tape of that Tuck hit on Bollinger. (Q3 5:55 left, incomplete pass, 15 yard personal foul.) It is a sad state of affairs for the league when a referee can even THINK of calling a penalty on that play. Tuck's hit and subsequent penalty are part of a much bigger trend (CAMPAIGN?) in trying to rein in hits and injuries. You might as well whip out another 94 flags and place one on each player's hip so we can remove hitting altogether. This is quite simply madness and someone somewhere needs a wakeup call.

Rumors and theories are circulating more violently than any of these hits. Allegedly the league is trying to protect players as it expands the regular season to 17 games and reduces preseason to 3. If this is the cost, then someone needs to realize quickly that this is 6% forward to go -106% back.

Football is a violent sport. I grew up watching Dick Butkus and Deacon Jones. I just checked their weights, and the Sports Encyclopedia lists them as 245 lbs. and 272 lbs. respectively. Is the game bigger and faster? Yes, certainly at the line of scrimmage. But Strahan was slimmed down to 255 lbs. in his last year as a pro. He played most of his career at 275 lbs., but the point is that the game has not gotten that much bigger and faster. Tuck's hit on Bollinger looked softer than garden variety LT. Granted that no one ever saw anyone with the size and speed of Taylor when he came into the league, but the point here is that if the league is so worried about preserving the health of players, then DON'T have a 17th game!

The economy is in a recession. Television networks are releasing earnings- ad revenue is dropping. If the NFL teams and players experience a reduction in their revenue and salaries too, well, welcome to the rest of the world. Please don't become like baseball and manufacture synthetic growth at the cost of the product. The NFL is so much better than this. Or is it?


Nature said...

when i think about what they are doing to the LEAGUE i can almost cry (not kidding, really gets me upset) my son is 3 and LOVE watching the games, i just wonder if its going to be a touch league about the time he fully understands the game. if Roger Gotohell keeps these fines and bad calls going im going to fall back...when i was younger i loved BASKETBALL almost on the level of football until i got older and saw the "STAR TREATMENT"...the "in the grass rule" was f-ing up the game years ago now i think we are headed towards that again, watching plays in SLO-MO to see if the helmet slightly touches is pathetic...we need a play like the to f-up a SUPERBOWL and maybe, just maybe they stop the crap....

James Allen said...

I think it's obvious a lot of pressure is being put on the refs to the point that they don't know how much to be strict and when. Remember that game a few years ago when a Giant (I forget who) had Vince Young totally wrapped up and let him go, fearing a penalty he definitely would have gotten had he thrown him to the ground, and Young threw for a first down? Well, this is where NFL reffing is going. Officiating sucks enough to begin with without allowing even more "judgement" on the part of the referees that it seems these guys barely know if they are coming or going, throwing flags left and right (while totally blowing other calls.) This will do nothing to make the play in the NFL better, and I have seen no evidence that QB injuries are on the decline, as it seems like tons of starters go out every year, most on plays that aren't even hard sacks. And they get the shit beat out of them anyway. But that should be sort of the point. It's a tough position, you can reap the great rewards, but you have to pay the toll once in awhile. How far are we from redshirting QB's during actual games? Not as far as we might think.

P.S. By the way, I way driving to Alabama (from Jersey) on game day (work) but managed to catch most of it at a Hooters somewhere in Georgia. Great game by the G-Men, others have broken it down better than I. Of some fascination was the game on the TV next to that, the Falcons/Raiders game. And the Falcons are having a good year, and Matt Ryan is a good story and all, but, words fail me, Lord do the Raiders suck. I mean they really really suck. (How the hell did the Jets lose to them?)

Andy F. said...

The player was Kiwanuka. I think he got called for a personal foul ~ a week before that, so he could not win for losing.

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